Courses & Units

Antarctic Ecology KSA307

A solid background in animal and plant biology, and a fundamental understanding of other scientific disciplines including chemistry, physics, and data analyses are recommended for this unit. Good writing skills and an ability to undertake personal research using library resources are also advised.


This course will provide a strong understanding of Antarctic marine ecosystems. We will cover a range of subjects including the physical environment and its influence on biological assemblages, the roles of marine predators in the food web and the importance of sea ice as a driver of communities. We will also examine the challenges that species face in a changing Southern Ocean environment. The growing importance of resource management for the Southern Ocean and the past and present exploitation of marine resources will be covered.

The course is coordinated by A/Professor Kerrie Swadling (Rm 109G, Institute of Marine and Antarctic Studies, IMAS Waterfront Building, Ext 6903), and you should see her if you have any questions about the general running of the unit. We are fortunate in having a range of internationally renowned Antarctic scientists in Hobart, and a key premise of this course is to ensure that you are given up-to-date information on each subject.


Unit name Antarctic Ecology
Unit code KSA307
Credit points 12.5
College/School College of Sciences and Engineering
Institute for Marine & Antarctic Studies
Discipline Ecology and Biodiversity
Coordinator Associate Professor Kerrie Swadling
Available as an elective? Yes
Delivered By University of Tasmania


Location Study period Attendance options Available to
Hobart Semester 2 On-Campus International Domestic


International students
Domestic students

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Key Dates

Study Period Start date Census date WW date End date
Semester 2 22/7/2024 16/8/2024 9/9/2024 27/10/2024

* The Final WW Date is the final date from which you can withdraw from the unit without academic penalty, however you will still incur a financial liability (refer to How do I withdraw from a unit? for more information).

Unit census dates currently displaying for 2024 are indicative and subject to change. Finalised census dates for 2024 will be available from the 1st October 2023. Note census date cutoff is 11.59pm AEST (AEDT during October to March).

About Census Dates

Learning Outcomes

  • Critically evaluate and discuss ideas relating to ecological principals, conservation and management of Antarctic and Southern Ocean marine ecosystems
  • Articulate and evaluate current strategic objectives in Antarctic science
  • Use your knowledge of Antarctic science to engage with contemporary scientific knowledge and communicate relevant ideas and outcomes to a range of audiences
  • Appreciate and practise the process of obtaining scientific grants

Fee Information

The 2024 Commonwealth Supported Place (CSP) rates are still being finalised by the Government and we will update the domestic fee information as soon as we have more details.



KSM202 OR KZA211 OR KPZ211 OR KZA212


Teaching Pattern

2 hour weekly online lectures (independent learning)

1 one hour weekly tutorials (face to face)

3-hr practical weekly (face to face)

AssessmentDiscussion posts (10%)|Research proposal presentation. (10%)|Major practical report (20%)|Paper critiques and class discussions (20%)|Final Exam (40%)
TimetableView the lecture timetable | View the full unit timetable



Havermans et al._A survival pack for escaping predation in the open ocean: amphipod-pteropod associations in the Southern Ocean

David et al._Sea-ice habitat minimizes grazing impact and predation for larval Antarctic krill

Corso et al._Climate change drives long-term change in Antarctic Silverfish along the western Antarctic Peninsula

Zwerschke et al._Can Antarctica's show zoobenthos 'bounce back' from iceberg scouring impacts driven by climate change?

Viollat et al._Week 5 - Bottom up effects and density dependence drive the dynamic of an Antarctic seabird

Adachi et al._Forced into an ecological corner: Round-the-clock deep foraging on small prey by elephant seals

Riaz et al._Spatial link between Adelie penguin foraging effort and krill swarm abundance and distribution

Lee et al._Islands in the ice: Potential impacts of habitat transformaion on Antarctic biodiversity

Seyboth et al._Influece of krill (Euphausia superba) availability on humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) reproductive rate

Trathan et al._The ecosystem approach to management of the Antarctic krill fishery - the 'devils areĀ in the detail' at small spatial and temporal scales

Clay et al._A comprehensive large-scale assessment of fisheries bycatch risk to threatened seabird populations


Recommended Readings will be provided by your Unit Coordinator.

LinksBooktopia textbook finder

The University reserves the right to amend or remove courses and unit availabilities, as appropriate.